7 Habits I Picked Up When I Moved to the USA


I wrote about the Mexican habits I lost when I moved to the US, but I’ve also picked up some new American habits during my time here. 

1. Filling up my own gas

portland st johns

In Mexico, no matter where you are, there are always several people working at the gas station who fill up your gas and commonly might clean your windshield and windows and check the air on your tires as complimentary services.

In most of the US, gas is self-service. You pump your own gas and you clean your own windows. I had learned to do this on my own until last year where I lost the habit again because I moved to Oregon and here as an exception, pumping your own gas is illegal.

2. Believing that I won’t get run over when crossing the road

portland st johns road

In Mexico, you have to look both ways at all times when crossing the road and do not expect drivers to stop for you. Drivers have the right of way. Cross at your own risk.

In the US, this is quite the opposite. Pedestrians have the right of way. I am still trying to adjust to this and often make cars wait too long because I am waiting for them to drive through and they are waiting for me to cross.

3. Being on time and forgetting that every traffic sign is a suggestion

portland sunset road

I talked about the punctuality difference between Mexico and US before, and here I know I have to be on time to places or people will get really upset. This causes me some stress but I am pretty much always on time. I also now always follow traffic signs; I never ever run a red light for example. But I still do speed up instead of slow down for yellow. Some habits are hard to loose.

4. Ordering everything online

Foods I got from vitacost.com

I pretty much never go shopping. I do most of my shopping online through Amazon; households goods, electronics, technology, kitchen, clothing, gifts, supplements, books… you name it. I even buy some food (pantry items) at vitacost. You can find anything you need online; the convenience of it is hard deny.

5. Drinking wine mid-week at home

deck sunset wine

In Mexico, I would never ever drink at home unless there was a family gathering going on. It would be just weird. Here in the US, we pretty much always have wine at home and I might have a glass a several days in the week in the evening while watching TV.

6. Drinking from the tap

I would never do this in Mexico, but I do it all the time in the US where it seems to be okay.

7. Using A/C

Not sure why, but A/C in homes in Mexico is not common at all. We are usually totally fine by just opening the windows or using celling fans in more tropical places. It doesn’t seem to be needed. For some reason, here it’s like a necessity, and it’s the same thing with central heating.

What are some habits you picked up when you moved to a new country?

11 thoughts on “7 Habits I Picked Up When I Moved to the USA

  1. I can’t stop laughing, Mani 🙂
    One thing is for sure, I’ll feel at Home in Mexico for sure 🙂
    I am sure, you would agree with me 🙂
    and It would be even more interesting to see, what are the habits you would have picked up, while living in India?


    1. Yes, Indians and Mexicans have lots of similarities but at the same time lots of differences.
      That is a great question, I’ll have to think if I picked some in India, I don’t know if I was there long enough for that. If I come up with a substantial list, I’ll blog about it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you are absolutely right, Mani 🙂

        Two countries with age old civilizations and a very long history… there are so many similarities and differences 🙂

        I would like to visit Mexico once, let’s see 🙂


  2. Mani, I’m nodding so hard my head’s gonna fall off lol! Taco has gone through most of those…crossing the street, he still doesn’t trust tap water, and he absolutely hates A/C. Great post.
    Btw, would you do me a favour and translate my very first poem that I wrote in Spanish. I need a native Spanish speaker and a Mexican preferably to translate it to English before I actually tell my readers what I was thinking Por favor 😀


    1. I kind of don’t trust tap water much either. I do drink way more here, but currently I’ve been buying water bottled because I just don’t like the taste of it in this house.
      Send the poem to anewlifewandering@gmail.com and I’ll do my best!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your post is so eye-opening, you brought it to the point. And those differences are exactly what is fun, isn’t it.


  4. I have spent the last two months in Vietnam and Indonesia, and laughing quite a lot as well. Although I live in Canada, a lot of the same rules apply as living in the US. I think point number two especially may give me some trouble haha.


    1. I’m surprised at how many people are telling me the post is making them laugh. I did not realize it was funny at all but I’m glad! haha. Be careful crossing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha ha, apart from the AC, you could have been talking about India! 😀 Mexico is high on our list of places to visit as well.


  6. I have the exact same thoughts about India 🙂


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